As Elgin grew and more settlers come to town, the city itself began to develop in different ways. The areas west of the river remained comparatively more rural than the east side of town. Families like the Kimballs and McClures purchased large areas of land. In the addition to the north of the McClure mansion on Highland Avenue was Hamilton Avenue. 

Lots 8 and 9 in block six of the Lovett Addition were initially purchased by Mark Biggers in 1905. He quickly sold lot 9 but lot 8 remained vacant for a number of years until Oscar Fischer purchased the property in 1912.

After first building upon what became 285 Hamilton Avenue, Fischer rented out the property to a Hannah Althen until 1927. Fischer then lived at the property until his death in 1956. A number of issues of the Elgin City Directory list Fischer as operator of the West Side Shoe House on West Chicago Street.

Fischer’s wife, Anna, died in 1950. After both Fischers had passed, the home’s ownership transferred to Emil Wolff, Anna’s brother. In 1965, Emil sold the home to Carl Mauck.


285 Hamilton Avenue is a nice example of the Shingle style home. Common during the Victorian period like its Queen Anne cousin, there are a number of features indicative of the style seen here. Character defining features include the continuous wood wall cladding into the gables; no interruptions at wall corners; irregularly shaped and steeply pitched roofs; and two bay windows on the north and south sides.

In the Northwest Neighborhood Architectural Survey, 285 Hamilton Avenue is listed as a contributing structure to the local neighborhood history.



Sources: 1998 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud